Pakistan quake kills at least 20, injures hundreds

Residents gather near the rubble of a damaged house following an earthquake in Harnai, Balochistan, Pakistan, October 7, 2021. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — At least 20 people were killed and about 300 injured on Thursday when a 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck southern Pakistan in the early hours as many of the victims were asleep, the Disaster Management Authority said.

Rescue workers said most of those killed were women and children.

The earthquake struck at the relatively shallow depth of 20 km (12 miles) with an epicenter 102 km (62 miles) east of the city of Quetta, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

More than 100 mud houses collapsed and many buildings were damaged. Television footage showed buildings with gaping cracks, caved in roofs and crumpled walls.

Hundreds of people were homeless, Sohail Anwar, deputy commissioner of Harnai district in Balochistan province, told Reuters.

“I have ordered immediate assistance on an emergency basis for the Harnai, Balochistan, earthquake victims & for an immediate assessment of the damage for timely relief & compensation,” Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan said.

Aftershocks were being felt across the region.

Pakistan sits on top of colliding tectonic plates and earthquakes are common.

A 7.7-magnitude earthquake hit Quetta in 1935, killing between 30,000 and 60,000 people and destroying much of the city.

In 2005, about 73,000 people were killed by a 7.6 magnitude quake that struck about 95 km northeast of the capital, Islamabad.

(Esta Media Network/Reuters)

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